Dell offers a confusing choice between Windows and Ubuntu

Dell is known to have offered both Windows and Ubuntu on its laptops for quite some time. This page at Dell tells you how you should choose between Windows and Ubuntu and the details on the page are quite shady.

To start with, the first few lines say,


UBUNTU is not a Microsoft Windows operating system – and is not compatible with Microsoft Office programs – so it is important you make the right choice:

How do you make the right choice? Does that mean you make the right choice by choosing Microsoft Windows, which is compatible with Microsoft Office programs?

Here are the top three reasons to go for Windows:

Choose WINDOWS if:

  • You are already using WINDOWS programs (e.g. Microsoft Office, ITunes etc.) and want to continue using them
  • You are familiar with WINDOWS and do not want to learn new programs for email, word-processing etc.
  • You are new to using computers

Seriously, should Windows users always go for Windows? How does that make sense? Ubuntu has and Songbird. I accept that they are not as feature rich as their paid counterparts, but they work just fine!

As far as new programs for mail and word processing are concerned, Thunderbird and OpenOffice are quite similar to Outlook and MS Word! Finally, let us do some math here. There are two kinds of people here, one who are new to computers and the second kind who are using them already. The first and the last points want a larger part of these two kinds to be stuck with Windows forever!

Having fun so far? You have not seen the better part. Here are the reasons to use Ubuntu:

Choose UBUNTU if:

  • You do not plan to use Microsoft WINDOWS
  • You are interested in open source programming

I do plan to use Windows and Ubuntu both and yes, half of the people I know who use Ubuntu have setup a dual boot. Usersmay or may not be interested in Open Source programming. Linux is not just for programmers! It is not a programing language. It is an Operating System.

Please do not confuse Dell, if you cannot convince. Have a look at the page here.

Published by

Chinmoy Kanjilal

Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. He rants occasionally at You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.

  • Well the thing that surprises me is why Dell would even offer Ubuntu, I mean if you consider the user base for people who will use Ubuntu, I doubt they are going to be buying a computer from Dell. At least those that I know who use Ubuntu would never get Dell.

    Till then,


    • And what's the point behind the statement

      if you consider the user base for people who will use Ubuntu, I doubt they are going to be buying a computer from Dell

      If you wan't to point out that people who do not own rigs or high performance laptops use Linux, then u are wrong. Also, Ubuntu has almost all the features that Windows, and it might come to you as a surprise but many of the features now adopted in Windows have come from previous builds of Linux. Its completely wrong on Dells part to deceive consumers like that.

      • @Ujjwal, I didn't mean to sound negatively, It's just from what I've seen, all of my friends who have Linux on their computers have built their own machines. I have a high level of respect for my friends who run Linux, as from my perception, the users who use Linux are very smart and advanced users. So this is why I am assuming that those who use Linux will build their own machine, as they are smart :)

        Till then,


    • Dude, let's give some credit to Dell (though they have been hammered recently due to customer policies and sagging sales). Besides System76, Dell is the only company I know that at least offers Ubuntu pre-installed. You go to HP, Lenovo, Sony, Toshiba and what do you get for Linux? Yes, agreed that all the models that Dell ships with Ubuntu are low-configuration based but they are at least helping 'spread' Ubuntu…

      • I think this page is doing Ubuntu more harm than good. This is a careful play of words by Dell. It will simply be able to sell all those Windows copies it ordered and is pointing customers to Windows powered rigs and clearly telling them "buy this and not that!".

  • Indian Art

    I think Dell needs to support Ubuntu wholeheartedly, no 1/2 measures.